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Production, Rig Count Surge As Exxon Bets Big On U.S. Shale

Production, Rig Count Surge As Exxon Bets Big On U.S. Shale

US oil rig counts rose for the7th straight week (up 7 to 609) to the highest level since October 2015. 

With production surging back above 9mm b/d – the highest in a year – the trend in the rig count implies considerably more production to come…

And it’s all in the Permian…

And with rig counts rising (in the Permian), production shows no signs of slowing, as OilPrice.com’s Nick Cunningham notes, ExxonMobil’s new CEO Darren Woods announced a dramatic shift towards shale drilling this week, a new strategy that will prioritize drilling thousands of smaller wells while reducing spending on the massive projects that the oil major has long been accustomed to pursuing.

Mr. Woods gave a presentation to investors on March 1, selling his vision after recently taking over from Rex Tillerson, who left to become U.S. Secretary of State. Exxon will now ramp up spending on shale drilling, after watching dozens of smaller companies profit from the surge in production in Texas, North Dakota and elsewhere over the past decade.

Exxon will dedicate a quarter of its 2017 spending budget on shale, putting $5.5 billion into the effort. “More than one quarter of the planned spending this year will be made in high-value, short-cycle opportunities, including in the Permian and Bakken basins,” Exxon wrote in a March 1 statement. The oil major says that it has 5,500 wells in its queue for drilling in the Permian and the Bakken shales, each with a return of 10 percent or more at $40 per barrel.

Exxon was able to build up this inventory of shale wells with the $6.6 billion it spent in January to double its Permian acreage.

The shift towards shale should pay off over time, with a portfolio of thousands of tiny shale wells making up a growing share of the oil major’s production portfolio.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

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